comments on Don's "Cypher Bank"

Richard Childers rchilder at
Sat Nov 28 00:27:13 PST 1992

> I will maintain a public list showing handles vs. Amount received,
> in collection, and in escrow.(Set Subject = "BANK" to get the list)

"You should not disclose someone's balance to anyone else, and certainly
 no[t] to the public.  Someone requesting their balance should send the
 request by any communications channel (anonymous mail, newsgroup, anything)
 and sign it with the private key corresponding to the public key used
 when making the deposit.  Then you should encrypt your reply (the account
 balance & any other info) using the public key, and send it back through
 any channel."

Maybe both options should be supported.

I can see how some people would like numbered accounts, a la Switzerland.
However, it's not likely. It would be abused. If you want to oppose taxes,
that's one thing, but it should not be confused with the electronic trans-
-fer and maintenance of funds.

It might be more likely to arrange for a compromise where numbered accounts
are permitted iff account balances are publically available also.

This might have interesting spinoffs, such as allowing a much wider range
of interested individuals, access to economic data at the level usually
reserved for banking institutions. We might - as many people have noted -
learn much and contribute accordingly to both economic and cryptographic

Personally, I think things are much more likely to remain aboveboard if
they are never placed out of sight in the first place except where it is
strictly necessary - and that necessity clearly documented to all.

-- richard

-- richard childers		rchilder at		1 415 506 2411
         oracle data center  --  unix systems & network administration

                    Klein flask for rent. Inquire within.

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